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Why Mazes?

What is Mazery?

Who are the MazeMasters?

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Titled The Big Big Book of Mazes, introduces their first print publication. The book has been published by Mud Puddle Books and is on sale for around $5 at Borders and WaldenBooks. The book is 224 pages in a full 8.5x11" format and boasts over a hundred of our best mazes.

News Update
To date, The Big Big Book of Mazes has sold over 65,000 copies throughout the US nationally -- a complete sellout of the first printing. The publisher reports that these numbers indicate our first book was the fastest selling and most successful book of mazes in the past decade.

Introduction  (excerpt)

Welcome to The Big Big Book of Mazes, a collection of mazes from the website! The website boasts an incredibly extensive array of the most high-quality printable mazes available anywhere on the Internet. We have selected the finest and most innovative works created for the website and assembled them all into one book. We are proud to present to you many completely original maze styles that are at once uniquely unconventional and quintessentially elegant. While you will also find a wide variety of traditional mazes, you will discover our distinctive artistic flair to be a refreshing break from the ordinary.

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There are certain key techniques that are used by the self-accredited MazeMasters when engaged in the practice of authoring their mazes. It may be useful for would-be solvers of the mazes in this book to understand the type and levels of thinking that go into every maze contained herein. Knowing the authors and their amazing concepts may aid in an easier discovery of solutions.

A discussion concerning the mazes in this book must begin by defining a term that has been coined by the MegaMazes' founders: MAZERY. As defined on the website, mazery is: "…the sundry mystical and arcane powers of the mind utilized when creating a maze. Mazery involves the use of all manner of optical, mathematical, and psychological trickery in order to maximize the confusion of pathways in a maze." In a more general sense, this term is used to collectively describe the effective use of specific methods employed during the authorship of mazes, but also implies a certain amount of sadism with regards to the creator's obsessive intent to generate a maximum effect of disorientation and minimize solvability of a maze.

You see, every attempt is made to fully achieve a particular type of subterfuge in each maze. Specific mazes styles seem to easier lend themselves to a certain ploys than do other styles. For example, a hex grid style maze can often me made most difficult through the use of many short and twisting passage segments with many dead-end offshoots, but hex grids are not generally effective at helping to mask the solution when long stretches of parallel passages are used. For a maze author, an intimate knowledge of a chosen style is paramount when determining the best way to make a maze.

During the development of a maze, every effort must be made by the designer to predict the thought-process of someone that will be attempting to solve the maze. When it is concluded to appear as if part of a maze solution should logically flow down a certain pathway, this will be used against the reader. Indeed, every effort will be made to encourage this illusion; the correct solution branch will be made to appear as unassuming as possible. Readers beware, though, for the game has barely begun and will go way beyond this point. At the next few subsequent junctures, this stratagem may be expected. Therefore, a new tact may be utilized. Or not. It just depends on the maze and the intent of the author. Sometimes the best policy is to repetitively use special chicanery so many times in a row that a reader's sense in a law-of-averages practically forces them to keep trying the obvious solutions for naught. This, thinking that sooner or later the right answer has to be to, say, turn right when it has been left the last dozen or more times. In fact, enforcing the proverbial Murphy's Law in a maze effectively ensures its success. The judicious use of reverse psychology has an indisputable track record - as well as does the occasional use of double- and triple-reverse psychologies.

The issue at hand is that while pure randomness in a maze does present a challenge to solve, there are certain countering methods or algorithms that a reader might apply for the purpose of determining the solution in a faster than average time. All of the mazes hand-created by true MazeMasters do not principally resort to a mere uncreative but massive proliferation of passageways to achieve a chaotic melee. The mazes in this book were carefully and individually crafted to lure the reader down the wrong path at every turn. Sure, on occasion, simple luck can prevail. Eventually, it may be that a reader outsmarts a certain area of a maze. Before getting complacent, though, know many other traps will waylay the rest of the solution. And be assured that we will do our best to match wit for wit and continue make every successive maze a distinctly difficult obstacle. The longer it takes you solve a maze, the more skilled we can assume its author to be. In the end, every maze created should be as confusing as possible - the more difficult the maze, the more thrilling the journey. And the mazes created in this fashion are, thereby, quite a lot of fun.

Truly, for the enthusiast, a maze that does not present a masterful sense of trickery is not a maze at all but merely a scripted, uninteresting jaunt. As a reader of this book, you are looking for more than the average maze. You are seeking all of the classic elements of sheer adventure. First there is a difficult challenge. Then there is the requirement of endurance, of intellectual dexterity, and persistence. Traversing the maze becomes an expedition. Finally, once a proper level of determination is applied, and if the solution inevitably unravels for you, there is a vastly rewarding sense of accomplishment - victory!


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